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The Luxist Top Ten Handbags of 2010

by Annie Scott at

2010 may have been a tough year in a lot of ways, but it was a terrific year for handbags. From divinely sparkling clutches to totes in unheard-of textures, designers were inventive, creative and finally took some risks again — a sure sign of an improving economy. We’re celebrating the return to flamboyance and daring style with a list of our top ten favorites from this year’s outstanding Luxist Handbag of the Day collection.
1. Valentino Crystal-Embellished Feather Clutch

Valentino Crystal-Embellished Feather Clutch


Let’s begin with the ethereal, exquisite bag above, the Valentino Crystal-Embellished Feather Clutch. These little birdies outdid even the Judith Lieber Enchanted Stardust Clutch with their whimsical glamour, and the feathers are so elegantly and daintily assembled, the clutch eclipsed the ballerina charm of the Valentino Tulle Rosette Bag. We love the coloring; it’s as if each perfect feather has been gingerly dipped in the blackest of ink. The pale pink satin structure and lining complete the dream-come-true wonder of this masterful handbag which commanded $4,170.00.

2. Bodhi Safety Pin Clutch
Bodhi Safety Pin Clutch

The Bodhi Safety Pin Clutch won our hearts immediately back in 2008 with its giant and delightfully prim safety pin handle. We loved it in yellow ostrich back then, we loved it last year when Jenny Humphrey carried it on Gossip Girl, and we love this year’s Studded Safety Pin Clutch from Fall/Winter 2010, featuring a gold-plated safety pin and encrusted with gold-plated studs even more. All Bodhi bags feature an inspirational quote translated from sacred Buddhist texts stitched inside — we’d tell you what this one says, but we don’t want to spoil the surprise! This sassy, rock-and-roll-meets-seamstress bag costs $398.00.

3. Nina Ricci Ondine Agneau Bag
Nina Ricci Ondine Agneau Bag

The Nina Ricci Ondine Agneau Bag was an easy pick for us — we dubbed it one of the prettiest bags of the year the day we wrote about it. This architecturally-inspired bag exudes class and worth while somehow remaining demure and understated. We love the roping, we love the golden chain and we love the classical horseshoe design which sets it apart from any other handbag we’ve ever seen. It is simultaneously angelic and sophisticated and could easily remain a highlight of your collection for years to come. It retailed at Barney’s for $2,300.00.

4. Jimmy Choo Damian Ponyskin Clutch
Jimmy Choo Damian Ponyskin Clutch

Meow! The Jimmy Choo Damian Ponyskin Clutch epitomizes the Jimmy Choo brand perfectly with its sensual ponyskin, wild leather stitching and shock of neon yellow. This bag is truly more than a sum of its parts — the drastic elements combine to create a unique, unearthly harmony. There’s a raw power to it, like you could throw on a pair of stilettos, grab this bag, and take over the world. Or at least the dance floor. $1,895.00.

Prada Rete Metal Evening Bag5. Prada Rete Metal Evening Bag

This bag encapsulates so many of 2010’s most interesting trends. The first and most obvious is that of metal bags, which most of us never knew we wanted until this year. Next, like the Jil Sander Madame Lizard Shoulder Bag et al, this has a peekaboo effect so you can show off what you’re toting if you’d like; a long overdue opportunity to show off how pretty makeup vessels have become. The bag also exhibits an unusual texture, which was certainly a trend from Fall 2010 (and continues now), and furthermore, the bag is adorned with a jewery-esque chain, making all the straps over nearby ladies’ shoulders and wrists look vulgar and dated. But to praise the Prada Rete Metal Evening Bag properly, we must extoll the virtues of its unique shape and chain-mail-like feel, and the interesting way the giant baubles on the kisslock closure open (the structure at the top is comprised of four bars which open like a diamond). We must appreciate the way the strap dangles over the sides of the bag, softening and feminizing its harsh lines. This bag is a work of art and one of our favorites from 2010.

6. Fendi Trevi Fountain Peekaboo
Fendi Trevi Fountain Peekaboo

The Fendi Trevi Fountain Peekaboo made headlines all over the internet. Recognize it? This exciting python bag was dipped in 24 karat gold, giving it an unforgettable, glistening sheen and bringing its price tag to a whopping $36,000.00. This royalty-worthy bag belongs in a museum. The museum of your closet.

7. Temperley Faberge Evening Lattice Clutch
Temperley Faberge Evening Lattice Clutch

The Temperley Faberge Evening Lattice Clutch may well have changed Easter for us forever. Christian or not, we all wanted this last April — chocolate eggs are for amateurs. This bag is pink silk satin encased in goldtone metal latticework with a generous tassel for carrying. $1,550.00 buys this beautiful Faberge-inspired clutch and makes Easter better than Christmas, which, depending on your religion, actually makes spiritual sense.

8. Christian Louboutin Lolita Python Bag
Christian Louboutin Lolita Python Bag

There is something so magical about the Christian Louboutin Lolita Python Bag. We love the clusters of painted spots leaving the lush python looking as though it were pawed by some exotic animal. This is both fun and grown up, and exhibits the kind of creativity we were praising handbag designers in 2010 for on the whole. Imagine having a perfectly lovely python bag and then somehow getting the idea to paint little black bits all over it. Genius. $1,680.00.

9. Gucci Catherine Guccissima Medium Dome Satchel
Gucci Catherine Guccissima Medium Dome Satchel

The Gucci Catherine Guccissima Medium Dome Satchel may seem simple at first glance, but look closer — the design is actually richly developed and impossibly fresh for this ever-fabulous House. Stroking the soft, high quality embossed leather of this satchel will remind you instantly why money is so wonderful. $1,350.00.

10. Alexander McQueen De-Manta Clutch
Alexander McQueen De-Manta Clutch

We couldn’t possibly complete this list without a tribute to the late great Alexander McQueen, and fortunately he made it easy for us by creating the amazing Alexander McQueen De-Manta Clutch. Looking at this unbelievable feat of design, color balance and high style makes us miss him all the more. This daring and brazen bag is still available in a variety of shades and materials, and carries McQueen’s legacy on with fierce grace. I mean seriously, look at it here:

Alexander McQueen De-Manta Clutch

That’s it for the Luxist Top 10 Handbags of 2010 — we hope you enjoyed it and can’t wait to show you what the designers are brewing up for next year. Let us know what you think of our list in the comments below! What was your favorite?

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